Today is not the best day. My two children are sick. My eldest doesn’t have school today as well, in connection with the feast of Sto. Nino. So, we all stayed home. Masaya sana kung wala silang sakit. But, with them being sick, my stress and exhaustion multiply. They’re on medication naman na, so, I’m hoping they would feel better tomorrow.
Even if Marie Kondo’s Netflix series did not spark much interest in me, I found myself tidying up. So, there is still that Konmari effect. I am done with the clothes. Well, my clothes and my kids’, the mister’s closets are off-limits! Grrr. As of today, I’m trying to tidy up my kids’ endless boxes of toys!!!
Toys!!! Boxes after boxes. Hidden in drawers and cabinets. Scattered everywhere in the house, too. Some of them we bought, most were given. I couldn’t believe how much toys a house can accumulate in six years and three kids. To think that we at least, annually, donate some of the toys they don’t play with anymore. With my two children both in big school soon and considering that my youngest is not very fond of toys, I am considering scaling down the number of toys in the house on a dramatic scale!!! The following are my top choices of toys to keep. Let me know your thoughts.
Blocks. I like seeing my kids play with their blocks even if they are easily cluttered. Why? Because I see how their imaginations run from North to South and out of the galaxy when they try to create something out of their minds.. I’ve seen them create food, spaceships, castles, cars, flowers, and animals.
Food and kitchen sets. I let even my son play with the kitchen, dining and food sets because I believe that boys and girls should learn how to prepare their own food. That way, they will never be hungry.
Dolls and dollhouses. With the same principle, I believe that both boys and girls should learn how to keep a home and nurture a family, should they want to have their own someday.
Animal figures. My son used to love anything fish. Now, he’s into wildlife and wild animals. I realized that his interest with other live creatures not only propel him to reading but also teaches him that there are other forms of life created by God and that we should respect them too. It also made him think and often wonder about Africa.
Puzzles. As a child, I love puzzles. That’s why I don’t know why my kids have no interest in them, I hope that one day, something inside of them snaps and they start to like puzzles as much as I did. I believe that puzzles do great for the brain, some sort of exercise.
Art supplies and materials. My kids, thankfully, love doing anything artsy. Lately, they are discovering DIYs. We have plenty of art supplies and materials. And, the kids, they absolutely like doing art projects. The problem is me! I do not support their artistic pursuits because I’m too tired to prepare, look after them and clean up after all the mess. Admit it, art projects could be a lot of mess. But, I know I have to try harder and be supportive if I want them to develop their creativeness. Will try to change!
Books and other educational materials. Are they even considered as toys? Well, one thing is for sure, I’d like them to read more and to encourage them to spend time with books. Perhaps, setting up a mini library in a tiny nook of their room with a number of titles they can choose from would be a good idea. Crosswords, word search and other worksheets they can work on during lazy afternoons would be nice as well. At this digital age, you can just buy/download/subscribe to websites which offer a selection of printable worksheets which suit best your child’s age and needs. Here is an example of what I’ve downloaded online: (spelling_crossword games_crawlies / answer key)
This fun crossword will challenge kids with facts about insects and other creatures. It’s also a great way to practice spelling and word recognition. For even more engaging activities, visit Education.com!
Sports. I grew up not knowing or liking any sports. So, I like to expose my children to as many forms of sports as possible, hoping something taps their interest. As an outlet, as a form of exercise or as a form to socialize, it’s nice to know how to play any kind of sports. Aside from keeping our bodies healthy, practicing sports improves one’s mental health too.
Clays. I’m still half-hearted about clays so I searched about it and found out it is indeed beneficial for children. Aside from enhancing their creativity, creating things out of their hands with the use of clay also improves their hand-eye coordination. It develops their fine motor skills and encourages play-based learning.
What toys to keep at home depend on your children’s age. But, no matter what age, it is best to keep their toys at the minimum to maximize their imagination and nurture their creative potentials. Also, if you want them to grow up as minimalist, teach them young. I realized that toys are not just toys. Toys are tools that affect the development of our children. It is up to us to filter those effects. Better make sure that the toys you let stay in your home which your children play with every day have a purpose in your child’s life. And, that purpose is to help them achieve their maximum potentials.